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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 January, 2005, 08:33 GMT
Radio Aid marathon day raises 3m
Dermot O'Leary and Davina McCall
Dermot O'Leary and Davina McCall kicked off the marathon at 6am
A host of stars including Ronan Keating and Sharon Osbourne have helped raise more than 3m in an all-day radio fundraising marathon.

UK Radio Aid is raising money for survivors of the Asian tsunami, with 268 commercial broadcasters coming together for the first time.

After three years away from radio Chris Evans hosted a morning slot and was joined by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

At the end of the 12-hour show, more than 3m had been raised.

Pop star Ronan Keating flew from Ireland for a special live performance on the show.

He said he was hoping to fly to Phuket in Thailand next week to perform a concert for support workers.

Former Radio 1 presenter Zoe Ball presented a two hour slot on the show. She said: "It was so exciting to see so many famous faces - Tony Blair, Tony Blackburn and Liam Gallagher all wandering around."

Elvis shirt

Chris Evans
Back on air: Chris Evans interviewed Prime Minister Tony Blair
Oasis frontman Gallagher arrived to perform a live accoustic version of Oasis track Songbird.

Comedian Frank Skinner donated a shirt originally belonging to Elvis and The Office's Ricky Gervais offered the guitar made famous by his TV character David Brent.

He said: "When you are paid one thousand times a nurse's salary for mucking around and showing off, it is a pleasure to do whatever you can."

Pop stars Jamelia and David Gray performed on the 12-hour special, and there were appearances by comedian Avid Merrion, EastEnders actor Shane Richie and ex-neighbours star Jason Donovan.

The stations have an estimated combined audience of 20 million.

The broadcast kicked off at 0600 GMT with a two-hour stint hosted by Davina McCall and Dermot O'Leary.

Blair bemused

Jamelia
Performers on the marathon show included singer Jamelia
Evans interviewed Prime Minister Tony Blair during his 0800-1000 slot.

Mr Blair spoke about the devastation the tsunami caused, before Evans quizzed him about mobile phone ringtones, bemusing him by playing the popular "crazy frog" tone.

Mr Blair put a guided tour of Downing Street up for auction during his appearance on the broadcast, which attracted a bid of over 11,000.

TV presenter Davina McCall, who was suffering from a suspected chest infection, said after her breakfast broadcast: "It was great - really exciting and an amazing experience to be part of."

Each participating stations - including national networks Classic FM and Virgin, down to community, hospital and student stations across the country - will donate one day's profits and organisers are urging listeners to stage fundraising events of their own or donate one hour's pay from their salary.

All money will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee's tsunami appeal.

  • Proceeds from a 1970s revival gig in Glasgow featuring the Bay City Rollers, Alvin Stardust and Mud will also go to the appeal.

    Organisers of the show, at the Clyde Auditorium on 19 March, hope to raise 10,000.

    Meanwhile, Massive Attack and Portishead will perform a one-off charity concert at Bristol's Academy venue on 19 February.


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